The CT scan last week was entirely uneventful. That was the first bit of good news. GPD met me on time at the clinic, despite a little detour through the wrong part of the hospital. That was the second bit of good news. But the headline news was that the scan was clear and the CA 125 was normal. Turns somersaults of joy!
We’re celebrating, but in a slightly muted way. A friend has just asked “Is it joy or is it relief?” It’s relief, I think. Of course it’s wonderful that I’m in remission again. The consultant, though, was at pains to stress that the cancer WILL come back – we just don’t know when. The longer I have clear the better, as the more chance there is of another round of treatment being successful. My body needs time to recover from this lot, for starters. We’re into the wait and see, with check-ups every three months and the knowledge that I’m unlikely to revert to six month intervals, let alone ever be signed off as clear. I am still coming to terms with the fact that I will be living with cancer for however long I last; I suspect that this may be even more difficult for the rest of the family to accept.
One of the problems of finishing chemo, that I remember so clearly from last time, is the transition from active treatment to monitoring, when you feel – or maybe know – that there is nothing anyone can do except wait. There’s a bit of a change this time as I’ve started on an oestrogen blocking drug, Letrozole. The tumour was very highly oestrogen sensitive with an ER of around 270, for those who might understand these things. I don’t know about last time as they were just finishing the trials round about then into the use of oestrogen blockers in ovarian cancer. There are of course side effects. When we came back from the clinic, I sat (OK, I sat on the loo) and read the leaflet that came with them. It went on for pages. I read for a little bit and threw it away. Top trumps: there’s one that beats them all and I figured I’ll put up with whatever side effects get thrown at me if this can keep things at bay for a little longer.
And as for the non-booked scan, there were copious apologies. It seems I was the first of a string of missing January appointments; the person responsible “has been moved to other duties”. Ah well; the upside for me was that I went directly to the clinic from the scan and got the results, preliminary though they might have been, immediately albeit a week later than planned. The small nodule that had showed up post-operatively on an autumn scan was nowhere to be seen, blitzed we hope by all those toxins. Horrible the chemotherapy may have been but it did its job.
So there we are – remission again. I posted my news on Facebook and got 54 comments and 57 likes. Who knew I had so many friends! And today to celebrate Ray gave me a painting he did last week; take a look here. So thank you, everyone, for your friendship and your support.